Kolkata: A Mumbai Indians versus Chennai Super Kings clash has been one of the traditional rivalries in the history of IPL - and it will be no different when they face off at the ‘neutral’ venue of Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday.
It will be interesting to see if the current champions, in fourth spot of the table after their seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Thursday, can build on the last win which saw them chasing down a par target on a decent batting surface. Skipper Rohit Sharma was somewhat relieved at his opening partner Quinton de Kock finding his bearings back with his first half-century of the tournament this season, though a few question marks still linger about their middle order.
De Kock’s 15th half century in the IPL featured six fours and two sixes as the South African drove and pulled well against the fast bowlers.’’We needed that win badly after a couple of losses,’’ Sharma said. ‘‘We did everything right today, right from ball one, very happy with Quinny’s knock, we know how good he can be. Not to forget Krunal’s innings as well.’’
Mumbai, who had replaced Ishan Kishan with allrounder Nathan Coulter-Nile with an eye on balancing their pace bowling resources (with Hardik Pandya not being risked as a bowler), may be faced with the dilemma again as they would be needing a total in the region of 190 to stop the Chennai juggernaut.
The ‘Yellove,’ who look a transformed side from last season, are currently the table toppers with M.S.Dhoni’s men looking the most allrounded team so far. The opening combination of young Ruturaj Gaikwad and senior pro Faf du Plessis had been in exemplary form as they put up a 129-run partnership against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last game, but they will face a much more quality challenge in the shape of Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah upfront.
Delhi Capitals, meanwhile, moved up to second spot on the table after their seven-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the evening game in Ahmedabad on Thursday. The victory took Delhi to 10 points, level with third-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore and table toppers CSK.
DC’s net run rate (NRR) of +0.466 is higher than RCB’s +0.089 but lesser than CSK’s +1.475. Mumbai are fourth with six points, followed by Punjab Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders and the bottom-placed SunRisers Hyderabad.
Catch the match
Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings
Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi
Start: 6 pm UAE